Contour Design ShuttlePRO V2
If you spend any amount of time editing audio or video, you will know how frustrating it can be to deal with the myriad of keyboard shortcuts that are required. Not only that, but it's also often difficult to get to exactly the right frame of video or the right measure in your favorite DAW. Back when we didn't edit AV content on computers, we had cool features like joggers and shuttle controls that made editing easy and productive. Computers added a lot to the editing experience, but the control surfaces that were conducive to editing were lost in the process.
This device has literally transformed the way that I work with my video editing applications and my DAWs.
Enter the Contour Design ShuttlePRO V2! This device has literally transformed the way that I work with my video editing applications and my DAWs. When I first opened the ShuttlePRO V2, the first thing I did was test out the weighted alloy jog wheel to see how it felt. I'd be willing to bet that everyone who buys a ShuttlePRO V2 does the same thing. The wheel is cool to the touch and has just the right feel. It has a slight "click" at each position, but not enough to cause any trouble when you jog at high speed.
On the outside ring surrouding the jog wheel is the rubber-coated shuttle wheel. The rubber coating is a great idea because it prevents slipping fingers. The shuttle control has great tactile response and the spring loading felt just right to me.
Along the top of the device are the 9 control buttons, each with a clear plastic cover that can be popped off to take advantage of the included button label sheet. The button covers are quite easy to remove but are designed so that they won't pop off when you don't want them to.
Once you figure out how you want each button programmed for your needs, you will want to label your buttons. The included label sheet contains pre-printed labels for every conceivable editing operation. However, if you don't find what you need, you can use one of the blank button labels that are provided as well. Contour Design provides you with a generous number of blank labels. I think it's safe to say that you will never run out.
I saw many pictures of this device before I received it, but I was still surprised at the low profile of the device. The ShuttlePRO V2 sits low on your desk which makes it that much easier to use. In fact, this low profile contributes greatly to the usability of the device. It quickly becomes an extension of your hand and I am able to use it for several hours without fatigue.
The ShuttlePRO V2 works in conjunction with its Control Panel that you install onto your computer. (A PC and a Mac version are available.) The Control Panel allows you to easily reprogram any function of the ShuttlePRO V2 for your favorite application. I have seen other reviewers comments that the configuration of the ShuttlePRO V2 is quirky and difficult. I found the configuration to be straight-forward and had no difficulty at all, but I did find that the software was sometimes a little quirky after programming. It would often cause the double-clicking to fail in the system tray in Windows. However, on a Mac, I had no problems at all.
The ShuttlePRO V2 allows for different configurations on a per application basis. I appreciate that because my video editor of choice is Sony Vegas, and Vegas uses a different application for video capture and for video editing. The ShuttlePRO V2 reprograms itself on the fly based upon which application has the focus. This is truly "set it and forget it" operation. Contour Design has included pre-defined configurations for many applications. Creating your own is quite easy as well and you can start from scratch or base your own off of one of the existing configurations.
The ShuttlePRO V2 is programmed to enter key combinations for you. It can enter the combination once, a specified number of times, or at regular intervals. For example, you can configure the shuttle wheel to enter Ctrl-F2 for you at 40 times per second if that's what you need. In addition to a single key operation, the ShuttlePRO V2 also allows you to program macros. This comes in handy more often than you might think. For example, in my video capture application, you can move forward or backward one frame at a time using the arrow keys. However, for some reason, this doesn't work correctly unless you hit the Esc key after each frame. I was able to easily program that into the ShuttlePRO V2 using the macro feature. Programming of macros is quite easy and you can get as complex as you'd like.
Once you've finished defining your configuration, the ShuttlePRO V2 will allow you to print a full-screen template that shows what each button is for. This is a great feature because it's easy to lose track of what some of the unmarked buttons do in a specific application. After referring to the template a few times, I can easily remember the button functions without referring to it again.
The operation of the ShuttlePRO V2 while editing was superb.
The operation of the ShuttlePRO V2 while editing was superb. Not only does this device make editing more convenient (and more fun), but it also saves me a lot of time. In fact, I never used the scrub control in Vegas before because, let's face it, scrubbing is not meant to be handled with a mouse. It's just plain easier to click to a point in the timeline and then search for the spot you want.
After connecting the ShuttlePRO V2, I scrub all the time. The combination of scrubbing and jogging is how video editing is supposed to work. In my opinion, without the ShuttlePRO V2 or a similar device, you're not going to get as much as you should out of your NLE. Gone are the frustrations of trying to hit small targets with my mouse or scrolling through long bits of video with arrow keys to find the right frames. It's quite hard to describe the pleasure you get from using the ShuttlePRO V2, but I am confident that once you get one, the experience will be better (much better) than you imagined. In fact, I do a lot of my video editing on my laptop, but if my ShuttlePRO V2 isn't with me, I won't even bother. I can no longer do video editing without it.
After using the ShuttlePRO V2 for a few days, I simply cannot edit video without it. Enough said. No one who does any amount of audio or video editing should be without it. This purchase is clearly a no-brainer.